EXPENSIVE TASTE

Lawsuit: HUD Official ‘Demoted’ for Restricting Ben Carson’s Expensive Office Makeover

A senior official in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was demoted and told “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair” after she refused to sign off on an expensive redecoration of Secretary Ben Carson’s office, she has alleged in a lawsuit. Helen Foster said she was replaced with a Trump appointee after telling her bosses that $5,000 was the maximum legal limit for improvements to the office suite. The former chief administrative officer of the department also said she had been punished for highlighting a $10 million accounting shortfall in the department’s budget and for protesting when she was denied access to sensitive information regarding President Trump because, according to her lawsuit, she was believed to be a Democrat. (She was registered as a Republican in 2003, The Guardian reported.) Foster was moved to the role of chief privacy and Freedom of Information Act officer and her lawyer claimed her “reputation has been ruined” by the incidents. She’s demanding an apology, financial compensation, and her reinstatement as the department's chief admin officer.